Proposed community-owned Wind Farm would power up to 7,000 Sackville homes

Proposed community-owned wind project would power up to 7,000 Sackville homes

Residents in Sackville, N.B., want to build its first community-owned wind-farm that would power up to 7,000 homes in the area, and help reduce carbon pollutio. What they need now is the go-ahead from NB Power.

“New Brunswick Power is in the place now when they see the increasing need for greenhouse gas reduction in the production of their electricity,” Eric Tusz-King, interim board chair of Beauséjour Renewable Energy told CBC on Sept 11.

“The New Brunswick government has made that commitment as well.”

Last June, the proposed Sugar Brook Community Wind Farm, a project created in partnership between Sackville’s Beauséjour Renewable Energy Co-operative and the Ontario company Prowind Canada Inc., submitted its proposal to NB Power to build a community-owned wind-farm located west of Sackville, towards Moncton, in the upper Walker Road area.

“We truly believe in community power,” Helmut Schneider, President of Prowind announced on April 19 following a meeting with the City Council earlier that month. “We don’t value community projects unless they are truly community projects.”

The 20 MW project would see six or seven wind turbines built within the next two years and cost a total of $80 million, of which the Beauséjour Renewable Energy Co-operative would have to come up with $9 million.

The group is hoping to raise the necessary funds using Community Economics Development Corporations (CEDC), a program created earlier this April that allows New Brunswickers to invest in their local economy and earn a 50 per cent provincial income tax break that would last several years by purchasing shares (or other eligible securities) in a local project.

According to the arrangement between Sackville’s Beauséjour Renewable Energy Co-operative and Prowind Canada Inc., upon completion 51 per cent of the project will be locally owned.

Although the land where the wind farm is planned to be built is currently located on private property, Tusz-King says the owners have agreed to rent the land to the Sackville-area group if their application submitted to NB Power is approved.

If successful, Tusz-King expects to hear back from NB Power in 2017 or 2018, but says the project can be expected to be completed sometime in 2019.

Eric Tusz-King also spoke with CBC Radio – Shift on Monday, Sept. 11. Listen to the full podcast here.

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